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Nurturing the democratic debate.  
Director-General condemns the murder of Indian journalist Aran Narayan Dekate

16-06-2006 1:00 pm The Director-General of UNESCO today condemned the murder early this month of Indian journalist Aran Narayan Dekate near Nagpur, in the state of Maharashtra, in central India. “I condemn the murder of Aran Narayan Dekate,” said the Director-General. “Journalists perform a vital service to democracy and rule of law by keeping the public informed. I trust that the Indian authorities will spare no effort in bringing Narayan Dekate’s assassins to justice and that they will not let criminals undermine the basic human right of freedom of expression. This is all the more vital as journalists’ freedom to exercise their profession is crucial for the ability of every single member of society to enjoy his or her individual and political rights,” Mr Matsuura concluded.

According to Reporters Without Borders, on 8 June, at least four people ambushed Narayan Dekate as he travelled on a motorbike with a friend on the road between Nagpur and Wardha, hitting him with stones. He was taken to hospital in Nagpur where he died of his injuries on 10 June.

Journalists in Nagpur suggest that the murder was linked to a recent article he wrote in the Marathi-language regional daily Tarun Bharat about a scam in the world of illegal gambling, according to the NGO.

Reporters Without Borders says that Narayan Dekate is the second Indian journalist to be killed this year.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this purpose the Organization is required to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

Source Press Release N°2006-61

 ID: 33370 | guest (Read) Updated: 16-06-2006 2:11 pm | © 2003 - UNESCO - Contact